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UCF at Northeast Louisiana

WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m.; Monroe.

RECORDS: UCF 3-5; NL 3-6.

COACHES: UCF _ Gene McDowell (84-60). Northeast Louisiana _ Ed Zaunbrecher (13-29).

FEELING THE PRESSURE: In the opening half of Saturday's game, QB Daunte Culpepper was torrid, completing 17-of-25 for 213 yards, including a 13-yard pass to receiver Siaha Burley. But a halftime adjustment by Mississippi State altered Culpepper's routine. He was 12-of-27 for 136 yards and was picked off twice, including one in the final minute to seal the loss.

LOSING THE LEAD: In all their close games, and there have been a number of them, the Knights have held a lead at some point in the second half. But in just their second year in Division I-A, the Knights have shown their inexperience in late-game situations. UCF led Mississippi, Mississippi State and South Carolina. The Knights lost all three.

BY THE NUMBERS: A little over 126 yards of total offense separates UCF's output (408.5) from that of Northeast Louisiana (282.3). The source of the dissimilarity begins with Culpepper, who is 173-for-282 for 2,239 yards and 18 touchdowns. Indians freshman quarterback Daniel Jeremiah has completed just 66 passes (of 126) and thrown just three touchdowns. Not surprisingly, the Indians have struggled to put the ball in the end zone. They are averaging 15.4 points.

FAMU at Morgan State

WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m.; St. Mary's, Ga.

RECORDS: FAMU 5-2, 2-2 MEAC; Morgan State 3-4, 2-2.

COACHES: FAMU _ Billy Joe (180-76-4). Morgan State _ Stump Mitchell (8-21).

REMEMBER US?: The last time the Rattlers and the Bears met, FAMU had one of its most devastating first-half offensive outputs. FAMU scored 34 points in the first quarter, was ahead 69-0 by the half and finished with an 83-12 victory. "This is not the same Bears team that we played last year," Joe said. "Coach Mitchell has made great strides and they should be ready to compete. We can't think about last year's game."

FOR PRIDE AND POST-SEASON: Going into the game, the Rattlers are ranked 18th in the Division I-AA USA Today poll with four games left. Should FAMU run the table, it would finish 9-2 and be in a good position to secure a spot in the Heritage Bowl.

BY THE NUMBERS: Morgan State has doubled its rushing average from 74.5 yards in 1996 to 145.6 and has upped its total yards from 265.5 to 301.4. But Mitchell's biggest impact has been on defense. This is not the same Bears team that FAMU humiliated. The Bears are surrendering 113.6 yards per game on the ground (183.6 in 1996) and 151.6 yards in the air (180.7 in 1996).

North Carolina A&T at B-CC

WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m.; Daytona.

RECORDS: B-CC 3-4, 0-4 MEAC; North Carolina A&T 5-2, 2-2.

COACHES: N.C. A&T _ Bill Hayes (149-83-2). B-CC _ Alvin Wyatt (3-4).

VENGEANCE IS SWEET: N.C. A&T holds a 12-8 series advantage. The Aggies ravaged B-CC 73-7 in Greensboro last year. That has left a bitter taste in the mouths of returning Wildcats and particularly Wyatt. Last year, Wyatt was the defensive coordinator. "They tried to humiliate us last year by running up the score," he said. "I feel that the whupping they put on us was uncalled for and I don't like anybody beating up on Bethune-Cookman like that."

SACKMASTERS: The Aggies and the Wildcats enter today's game with proud defenses and particularly proud pass rushers. N.C. A&T defensive end Chris McNeal is the MEAC's leader with 15.5 sacks for a loss of 75 yards. The Wildcats have the No. 5 ranked defense in the nation in Division I-AA and part of that is the play of linebacker Antron Wright. Wright is second in the MEAC with 9.5 sacks for 62 yards.

_ ROGER MILLS

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